Optical endoscope for vascular imaging and concurrent oximetry instrument for non surgical tissue vascular assessment.


A clinic based optical instrument that allows a doctor to examine the blood supply to a particular tissue, without need for surgical biopsy. Based on multiple wavelength analysis of light reflected by sub-cutaneous fatty layers, this instrument will allow high-resolution video-rate mapping of capillary blood flow and oxygen carriage from the same tissue simultaneously. This is not clinically possible with any instrument at present. 



Vascular imaging has applications in surgical, medical and research disciplines, such as transplant surgery and assessment of potentially cancerous lesions. Discussions with clinicians have indicated a clinical need for this type of instrumentation in screening for disease (so facilitating early diagnosis), monitoring after treatment for the detection of local recurrence, laparoscopy and assessing margins of tumour clearance after surgical excision.


In kidney transplant surgery, the surgeon wishing to assure adequate blood flow in a grafted kidney delays the end of an operation by ~40 minutes until initial urine production. Such delay would be dramatically minimised by immediate in vivo vascular imaging of the graft capillary flow and tissue oxygen supply. This instrument also offers significant advantages in research arenas where responses to drugs or therapies can be tested in far fewer subjects as the imaging is non invasive and non-destructive.





A lab-based device has been developed to proof of principle stage. Testing is underway to assess the usefulness of the innovation for the non-invasive edge-detection of oral cancers. There is a refined prototype using off-the-shelf CE-marked endoscopy hardware which can be demonstrated in a clinical setting to identify cancerous tissue in vivo and also to assess blood flow in free transplanted graft tissue in theatre. Approaches from potential licensees are encouraged.


Patent Status Update (Feb 2014)

Priority date: 19 Sept 2007

PCT application published with International Publication Number: WO 2009/037464 A1

A US patent has been granted, 29 January 2013: US 8,364,222. (Includes a Patent Term Extension of 450 days) and a Japanese Patent has been granted on 6 Sept 2013: JP 5358578.

Patents are also pending in Canada and Europe.


Patent Information:
Medical devices
For Information, Contact:
Ceri Mathews
IP & Licensing Manager
King's College London
Richard Cook
Timothy Watson
Frederic Festy